Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 18 - Sintra: Monserrate (Part 1) and Pena (Part 2)

Day 18 - September 18, 2013


We left the apartment at 8:30 AM to catch the train to Sintra.  It's only about a 40 minute ride there.
Since it's not high season, there weren't a ton of people visiting.  So that made our experience all the better.  Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and when we arrived, we could see why.  It's really a cute town. It was a bit chilly at Sintra because it sits at a higher altitude than Lisbon.  All the palaces have large grounds with forest area, flowers, ponds, and unique greenery that we wanted to see.  We decided that we would see Monserrate and Pena Palaces and forgo the Moorish Castle.  Monserrate was first and then to Pena Palace for the afternoon thinking we would have better sunlight for pictures. Pena Palace is one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal. 

Arriving first at Monserrate Palace and getting ready to pay the entrance fee,  we were pleasantly surprised to find out that we could get a better deal than originally planned.  We thought we would only pay to see the grounds and outside of each palace, but for the same price, we were able to also go inside both.  And, we could take pictures inside as long as we didn't use a flash.

Carved statue in a dead tree on the way to the entrance of Monserrate Palace

Entrance to Monserrate Park

Beckford's Waterfall

Tree ferns

The Chapel Front

Side view of entire Chapel

Beautiful palm trees outlining the pathway

Pond at the base of palace lawn

At the entrance of the Mexican Garden

The garden's stunning greenery

The vibrant colors within

Including a giant aloe

Various desert cactus

Monserrate Palace
Acquired by Francis Cook, a textile millionaire, in 1856 who reconstructed the palace and it's garden

The palace from a different vantage point

One of the interior marble hallways

The intricate domed ceiling

A carved marble staircase

Entrance to the upstairs chambers that are situated in a circle

Another marble hallway looking towards the center fountain

Beautiful view of the palace from the lawn

The Mourning Cypress Tree

An unusual rock formation within the palace park grounds

Because this is a lengthy blog, Part 2 at Pena Palace will be completed tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment